Residents below 45 to receive invites to book Covid-19 jabs from June

If all goes well, vaccination programme will be completed as scheduled by the end of the year, says Janil

Residents aged below 45 are set to receive invitations to book their slots for Covid-19 vaccinations from June as Singapore makes steady progress in its inoculation drive.

This estimated timeline is based on the current schedule for the vaccine roll-out, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary told Parliament yesterday.

"If all goes well, we will complete the vaccination programme as scheduled by the end of the year," he said.

Updating the House on Singapore's inoculation programme, Dr Janil said that as of last Saturday, about 1.05 million individuals have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Of these, more than 468,000 have received their second dose and completed the full vaccination regimen.

He said about 60 per cent of eligible seniors aged 70 and above, and close to 70 per cent of eligible seniors aged 60 to 69, have received their Covid-19 shots or booked vaccination appointments, to date.

Among those aged 45 to 59, about half, or close to 500,000, have registered for vaccination, and about 17 per cent of them have received the vaccine or booked their appointments.

The rest of those in the 45-to-59 age band who have registered for the jab should receive invitations through SMS to make appointments by the middle of next month, Dr Janil said.

"This may take some time, given the number of people who have registered," he said.

The number of vaccination centres has been expanded to 31 so far, and there will be a total of 40 centres islandwide by the middle of this month, said Dr Janil in response to MPs who had filed questions on the vaccination programme.

Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) asked about the proportion of people who have been rejected for the vaccination.

Dr Janil said about 1 per cent of people who turned up for their shots were rejected because of concerns over allergies and conditions that could make them ineligible to get the jab.

He also said it will be easy and convenient in the future for people, including those without smartphones, to show they have been vaccinated.

Dr Janil noted that Singapore's supply of vaccines remains limited by the ability of vaccine manufacturers to deliver them, given the high levels of global demand.

"This has resulted in limited booking slots in recent days. I apologise for the inconvenience caused to those who have not been able to book earlier. As more supplies arrive, we will progressively open more slots."

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.